Short shaft for Thomas? It's a longshot

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KAPALUA, Hawaii – Justin Thomas wants to hit more fairways. It’s what he worked on most during the holiday break. He’s just not sure he’s willing to go as far as Jimmy Walker did to do so.

Thomas and Walker play a lot of golf together. The two were on the practice range earlier this week when Thomas told Walker that he distinctly noticed a different sound coming off the clubface.

“He’s like, ‘it’s a little different,’ and he just handed it to me,” Thomas said Friday after putting the finishing touches on a second consecutive 67 to tie for the SBS Tournament of Champions lead with Ryan Moore.

“That’s when I put it on the ground and I was like, ‘is this really short?’”

Walker sawed down a driver shaft to 42 inches a few weeks ago and loved hitting it so much that he had Titleist make him a club to bring to Hawaii for a two-week stretch.


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Thomas drives the ball miles, especially for someone so slight of build. But over the past couple years when he misses a fairway it tends to get ugly. He joked about a round at last year’s Memorial where he was paired with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Thomas hit a few missiles so far left that Spieth and McIlroy still give him grief to this day.

“It’s just something my dad and I have worked on, and just trying to get more consistent,” Thomas said. “If I have one miss or if it’s a smaller miss, then I can at least play it or go from there. But when I’m getting in the end here and it’s going 40 [yards] right and 40 left, then that’s when we’re re-teeing once a round and I don’t want that.”